Now, in his intense but murky debut creation for New York City Ballet that received its world premiere on Friday night at the David H. Koch Theater, Mr. Scarlett returns to the Greek underworld. Its name is “Acheron,” after one of the five rivers that ran through the realm of the dead.
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....Often the tempi of Tchaikovsky’s music for the Odette role’s great adagio are made monotonously slow. Esina and conductor Alexey Repnikov treated the timing aptly, it was as natural as breathing. To portray the story’s villainess, Odile - the Odette imposter – Esina danced also with her eyes. She relished being evil. The looks she shot her victim Siegfried – prince, hunter, deceived hero – could have hypnotized him as much as did her dancing. She was a sharp and precise Odile although she could have given her turns a more expansive freedom.
There’s a tiny new change that I don’t remember seeing the last time the company brought this ballet: the omission of one of the few remaining mime fragments, the Princess Mother’s reminder to the Prince that he has come of age and must marry. This was once probably a full conversation; it had been reduced to about two gestures [“You must marry.” “I don’t want to.”] and without it, Siegfried’s role disappears. There’s no opportunity for him to be introspective, much less exhibit the fabled melancholy. The first act is now merely about a birthday party and the gift of a crossbow (over which much is made).....
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